Legal way to defeat AOL's third-party AIM blocking

From: Robert Harley (
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 03:43:54 PDT

The idea is to have some volunteers repeatedly log in to AIM via a
proxy. The proxy can observe the transaction and then stick the
observed hash of part of aim.exe onto a Freenet node. Lather, rinse,
repeat. =:-)

Seems to me that AOL could respond by increasing the frequency at
which they change their challenge. >:-(
Legal way to defeat AOL's third-party AIM blocking

As you already know, AOL recently started blocking third-party instant
messaging products from using its network. [...]


What follows is a brief overview of the clever technique AOL is using
for its access restrictions, and then a proposal for defeating this
scheme in a completely legal way. This method (which is completely
generic and not tied to AOL in particular) may provide a blueprint for
overcoming this type of blocking restriction by other companies in the
future. Think of it as a kind of non-violent resistance.


I propose the development of an AIM proxy server. This server could
be run by anybody, as it would be extremely simple. All it would do
is accept incoming AIM messages, and echo these messages to the proper
AIM server. [...]


To implement this system, all a Jabber server needs to do is run a
local Freenet node. Of course, many of the values that AOL will
request are not available on that node, but if many people participate
in the system, most will be. Remember that there are something like
60,000 Jabber users, at last count. It won't take that many of them
to keep the various Freenet caches current. As a special bonus, this
architecture gives us a free way to keep AOL from IP-blocking known
third-party clients: use the proxy servers! Remember that the AIM
proxy looks completely identical to a legitimate NAT-based firewall to
AOL. [...]


R, rapidly becoming even more of a crypto-anarchist than he was before.

     .-. .-.
    / \ .-. .-. / \
   / \ / \ .-. _ .-. / \ / \
  / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \
 / \ / \ / `-' `-' \ / \ / \
            \ / `-' `-' \ /
             `-' `-'

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 29 2001 - 20:25:54 PDT